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The South Beach Diet is a "healthier" version of a decreased carbohydrate diet. It's based on the belief that choosing the "right" carbohydrate and fat sources can help people reduce their appetite, lose weight, and prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. It eliminates simple carbohydrates (like breads) almost entirely.
The diet begins with a somewhat restricted two-week induction phase, which will result in an 8-13 pound weight loss if done correctly. In this phase, most carbohydrates are avoided. Therefore, most of the weight lost is water weight and will be regained once carbohydrates are re-introduced in the diet.
There are three meals a day and snacks. The second phase reintroduces some of the foods avoided in phase one, but only sparingly. Weight loss in this phase is supposed to be around 1-2 pounds per week until a desired goal is reached. The third phase is to be done for the rest of your life as a "maintenance" plan.
Dieters are allowed to "eat until they are satisfied," meaning that the portion sizes aren't controlled or measured. Critics of this diet worry about the unlimited amount of fat, even healthy fat, allowed in the diet. It's a low calorie diet and depending on your age and weight; some dieter's could be eating as low as 800 calories a day. This diet plan also has its own cuisines, bars, and cereals. Exercise is mentioned in the plan, but not enforced.